South Africa visa news

Posted by on Oct 27, 2015 in Latest News, News

Welcome news by those in the travel sector – South Africa relaxes visa immigration rules!                     South Africa Passport

Travelers to and from South Africa will be happy to hear that changes to the immigration regulations were announced last week.  The changes include:

In the next three months:

  • Implementing the capturing of bio-metrics at ports of entry starting with a pilot at OR Tambo, Johannesburg, King Shaka, Durban and Cape Town International Airport.
  • Look at introducing an Accredited Tourism Company Program for countries like China, India and Russia.
  • Consider a long-term Multiple Entry Visa for a period exceeding 3 months and up to 3 years for frequent travelers (for business meetings) business people and academics.
  • School Principles will be able to issue letters confirming permission for children to travel on school tours.
  • Extend the validity of the parental consent affidavit to 6 months.

Within a year:

  • Add visa facilitation centers, including in Zimbabwe, United Arab Emirates and Botswana,
  • Consider a visa-waiver on arrival for persons travelling to SA having in their passports a valid visas for the UK, USA and Canada or any other country that applies stringent checks on visitors to their countries, to ease travel for tourists,
  • Consider granting a certain category of frequent travelers (business & academics) from Africa a 10 year multiple Entry Visitor’s Visa,
  • Open two Business Visa Facilitation Centers in Durban, Port Elizabeth, in addition to the recently opened one in Sandton,
  • Print parents’ details in their passports so that they do not have to carry birth certificates

In the long term, one year and beyond:

  • Install systems for pre-flight checks at international airports,
  • Upgrade Advance Passenger Processing systems and implementation Passenger Name Record, to enhance risk assessment,
  • Finalize automation of the visa and permitting system
  • The relaxation of the stringent Unabridged Birth Certificate (UBC) requirements.

 Travelling with Children OUT of South Africa

Regulations remain the same:  children must have an Unabridged Birth Certificate (UBC) and if they are unaccompanied by one or more parents, they need an Affidavit signed by the missing parents/s proving consent to travel.

But;

  • Within a year passports will include parents’ names and a separate UBC will no longer be required (if your child has one of the new passports)
  • The validity of the Affidavit will be changed to expire after six months, instead of only three.

 

Travelling with Children INTO South Africa

  • From a Visa-Exempt country (like the USA & UK)
  • It is no longer mandatory for these children to have a UBC or signed Affidavit.

However, it’s “strongly advised”.  IN other words, the government would like people to comply but you will not be punished if you don’t have those items.

  • As above, the expiry dates for Affidavits will be extended to six-months instead of three.

 

From Countries Requiring a Visa

  • Regulations remain the same.  An original birth certificate with both parents’ details must be submitted during the application process, as is the case with most countries requiring visas.

 Applying for a Visa from a Country with NO SA Embassy or Mission

The new regulations had required that any foreigner requiring a visa to visit South Africa had to apply in person at a South Africa Embassy / Mission where biometrics were captured, even if that meant travelling to another country.

  • You will no longer have to make a visa application in person.
  • Visa applications from countries without an embassy / mission will be possible via post, and biometrics for these people will be captured at certain ports of entry into South Africa. (see below)

Sources:  SAnews.gov & DHA.gov.za

 

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